Building A Home Made iPhone

iThing A few years ago, [Michele] built a mobile device with a touch screen, a relatively powerful processor, and a whole bunch of sensors. To be honest, the question of why he built this was never asked because it’s an impressive display of electronic design and fabrication. [Michele] calles it the iGruppio. Although it’s not a feature-packed cell phone, it’s still an impressive project that stands on its own merits.

Inside the iGruppio is a Pic32mx microcontroller, a 240×320 TFT touchscreen, and enough sensors to implement a 10 DOF IMU. The software written for the iGruppio is heavily inspired by the iPhone and a completely homebrew project – all the software was written by [Michele] himself. While the first version of the iGruppio was a little clunky, the second revision (seen in the pic above) uses an old iPhone case to turn a bunch of boards and plugs into a surprisingly compact device.

No, there’s no cellular modem inside the latest version, but [Michele] has put all the sources up on Github, and anyone wanting to build a homebrew cell phone could do worse than to take a look at his work. Video demo below.


  1. Galane says:

    He built a PDA, not a phone.

  2. strider_mt2k says:

    Then he jailbroke it and ended up denying support to himself.
    Now he can’t even use his own app store and he’s like the ONLY guy…

  3. xobmo says:


  4. Zack says:


  5. Awesome work for ONE MAN. Anyone wishing to insult him, please post your greatest creation first. Mine would be a chicken coop that hasn’t fallen down. Thus, my lack of criticism.

  6. Duncan says:

    Getting all the goodness to fit just has to be the most impressive feat in all this. Whatever you want to call it, I call it compact!

  7. M says:

    Please, change the title of the article to something like “Building A Awesome Home Made iPod Touch” so people can quit complaining about the title and give [Michele] the props he totally deserves!

  8. Matt Owen says:

    I like this from a ‘universal remote’ point of view. I have some aging Philips Prontos that i know will die at some point, and I really want to be able to replace them with an open source remote design complete with large colour touchscreen… has anyone built one?

  9. brad d says:

    Freaking awesome!

  10. retard says:

    i build a homemade iPhone every time i sit on the commode

  11. jaydcarlson says:

    I wouldn’t call this an iPhone or even an iPod Touch or PDA — I’d call it a touchscreen thermostat; that’s about as powerful as it is.

    Not only does this lack a cellular radio (which others have pointed out), it uses a tiny PIC32 microcontroller; not an application processor. This puts it in a completely different class of devices, and dramatically reduces the usefulness of the device — instead of running Android/Linux apps, it runs a single, monolithic software image, written in bare-metal C.

    Basically, it’s an PIC32 dev kit in a fancy case. Boring.

  12. Heh, if you toss a cell board in there, you can give the NSA fits. No direct hardcoded backdoor for them to play with. :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,401 other followers